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I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of blogger Bill Faith. He died of a heart attack and had been in ill health.
Bill ran the blog Small Town Veteran and founded/contributed to Old War Dogs. I linked to his work many times over the years. He was also a valuable commenter here at mm.com. A Vietnam veteran, Bill was a stalwart defender of our armed forces and, as you can see from his blog, a man who loved his family. He described himself as “Baby boomer, nerdy kid, Viet Nam veteran, engineer, daddy, grandpa. Politically incorrect. Proud anti-idiotarian.” The epigram at the top of his personal blog:
“For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.”
In addition to his own passionate and patriotic blogging, Bill featured the moving poetry of fellow veteran Russ Vaughn. One of those pieces, Sheepdogs, was inspired by a post at milblog Blackfive.
Most humans truly are like sheep
Wanting nothing more than peace to keep
To graze, grow fat and raise their young,
Sweet taste of clover on the tongue.
Their lives serene upon Life’s farm,
They sense no threat nor fear no harm.
On verdant meadows, they forage free
With naught to fear, with naught to flee.
They pay their sheepdogs little heed
For there is no threat; there is no need.
To the flock, sheepdog’s are mysteries,
Roaming watchful round the peripheries.
These fang-toothed creatures bark, they roar
With the fetid reek of the carnivore,
Too like the wolf of legends told,
To be amongst our docile fold.
Who needs sheepdogs? What good are they?
They have no use, not in this day.
Lock them away, out of our sight
We have no need of their fierce might.
But sudden in their midst a beast
Has come to kill, has come to feast
The wolves attack; they give no warning
Upon that calm September morning
They slash and kill with frenzied glee
Their passive helpless enemy
Who had no clue the wolves were there
Far roaming from their Eastern lair.
Then from the carnage, from the rout,
Comes the cry, “Turn the sheepdogs out!”
Thus is our nature but too our plight
To keep our dogs on leashes tight
And live a life of illusive bliss
Hearing not the beast, his growl, his hiss.
Until he has us by the throat,
We pay no heed; we take no note.
Not until he strikes us at our core
Will we unleash the Dogs of War
Only having felt the wolf pack’s wrath
Do we loose the sheepdogs on its path.
And the wolves will learn what we’ve shown before;
We love our sheep, we Dogs of War.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Bill Faith was a treasured sheepdog in the blogosphere. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to tell him before he passed. I hope his family will know how much his work meant to us.